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China commentary questions Abe's sincerity

Published on Dec 19, 2012 12:13 AM

BEIJING (AFP) - China's state media on Tuesday questioned whether Japan's incoming prime minister sincerely wants to improve ties with Beijing, which have been severely strained by a row over a disputed island chain.

The official Xinhua news agency noted Monday's remarks by Shinzo Abe that there is "no room for negotiation" over the sovereignty of the Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus.

Mr Abe led his Liberal Democratic Party to a convincing victory in Sunday's election after pushing a hawkish line on the island dispute throughout the campaign.

China's foreign ministry expressed disquiet Monday at where Mr Abe would lead Japan, saying it was "highly concerned" over the matter, though willing to work with Tokyo for "further development of stable relations".

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